The first order of business, after a pair of people have agreed to espouse each other, is apparently to let everyone else know.
I have been derelict in this. Nearly a month has passed since our magical labyrinth walk, & has long since spread the word throughout his own social circle, and I, to my shame, have yet to announce to the universe that I’m Actually Engaged.
(Unless changing my “Relationship Status” on Facebook counts.)
My excuse, such as it is, is that I haven’t really internalized the label. & and I are as strong a going concern as ever, but it doesn’t feel to me as though our Relationship Status has actually changed. I guess I don’t think of myself as “engaged.” (To the few people I have actually Made The Announcement, I’ve preferred to use the terms “betrothed” and “intended” to “engaged” and “fiancé.”) I wear no diamond (and will not); my name isn’t going to change; and even before my first marriage turned into the ordeal that it did, I’ve never been much into weddings.
& has attended countless nuptials, served in a dozen wedding parties, and thinks it odd that my own exposure to the wedding-industrial complex is so comparatively sparse. By my reckon & has been a groomsman in more ceremonies than I’ve actually attended. At age 33, I’ve been a bridesmaid exactly once. (Twice if you count the wedding where I was an usher, but I wore an ordinary dress to that event, so I don’t.)
And then there’s the question of religion. Not the one you might expect, where the two halves of a couple adhere to different faiths and must now devise a way for the twain to meet with minimal offense caused to either camp. No, ours is a different religion question. I’m a confirmed Catholic, but my connections to the church, such as they are, are far more cultural than spiritual. & is a confirmed godless heathen and has no connections to any church to speak of. Neither of us is much into ceremony. Accordingly, the sacramental sanctification of our relationship is fairly low on our shared priority list, somewhere around a giant dolphin ice sculpture or Swarovski souvenir tiaras for the bridal party.
But. BUT. We would like nothing better than to pledge our commitment to each other in the Washington National Cathedral. And the way to do that, apparently, is to be Episcopalian — something neither of us has yet been. Hence, the religion question: not which, but whether.
(“Paris is worth a mass,” says & philosophically.)
((We have begun attending services at the cathedral, tentatively, empirically. I will embrace no religion unless I can actually believe in it.))
But I digress. None of this — my once-bitten-twice-shyness, my intellectual distaste for the institution, my spiritual ambivalence, and my lack of enthusiasm for the cultural ritual of spending several months’ earnings on a huge contrived party at super-retail prices — is any excuse for my reluctance to, you know, tell people we’re getting married.
But hopefully it’s at least an explanation for why I waited so long to tell you.